I have heard this said, in various ways and tones, after many sessions this year.
When I have discussed sharing and collaborating online around teaching inquiries, I hear comments such as the one in the title – or variants of it, such as:
- “I have nothing worth sharing.”
- “There are others who know far more than me about this.”
- “I’m afraid people will laugh at me.”
- “I’m afraid people will mock me.”
- “I’m afraid people will ignore me.”
- “I’ll blog when I have something to say”.
- “I’d rather just share it face-to-face.”
How did we come to be so afraid of sharing what we do, online? Is it the media and its stories of cybersecurity breaches and trolling? Is it the perceived permanence of committing thoughts to a faceless server in the United States? Have some of us become too self-effacing at the expense of our profession and do we need to get more ‘Gen-Y’ (‘privacy, schmivacy’) about what we do?
Can we afford not to share?
The classroom – the school – can be a very siloed place. Me, four walls and a group of young people, grappling with the challenge of …sharing. It is a scenario played out all over the educational world. Every problem, breakthrough, pondering and wondering in a classroom is a potential learning moment for others. And every moment that is actively reflected on is a learning moment for the educator undertaking that reflection.
The ability and knowledge about how to respond flexibly and sustainably to challenges in a complex, changing world is not held by one individual, even one school. It is held in the network of schools, of educators. It is evolved, played about and developed with every learning moment that occurs, day in, day out, in schools across the globe.
The secret to our future success – and the success of our students – lies in the network.
And my response to the question at the start is this post: Nothing to blog about? Of course you have. No matter how humdrum, insignificant or problematic an inquiry – blog about your successes, your wonderings, your breakthroughs, your resources, your trials and tribulations in your class.
Don’t be afraid – there are millions of us in the same boat…but we’ll only find out, if we share.
And if you liked that, try these:
- BLOG POST: Swimming out of our depth? Leading learning in 21st century Schools: NZCER 2012 report which focuses on the value of collaboration and de-siloed practice
- VIDEO: ‘Share it’: Allanah King, in this CORE Education EdTalk advocates teachers to share what they do.
- VIDEO: Sharing – the moral imperative: Highlights from Dean Shareski. The title is self-explanatory; we owe it to our profession to leverage the social web to open up our practice.
- VIDEO: David Wiley’s TEDxNYED talk, on open education. We can share, without giving away, our knowledge.
[Image source: CC by furiousgeorge81]
2 thoughts on ““I have nothing to blog about…” | My response”
Can I quote Anya Kamanetz? It seems relevant to your discussion here… “A diploma is the final step in a traditional education, but in the DIY world, credit comes from the reputation you build by doing good work and demonstrating it to others in a community. The rules of this world are informal and evolving, but joining and demonstrating value to a network is not optional for success in the 21st century.” Anya Kamanetz
Very apt quote, Stephen, and thanks for stopping by. That notion of community members being willing to pay it forward is crucial here, and it’s really one based on one’s values and beliefs about one’s profession and practice. The research that sits around social capital is key here, too, I think – that idea of one’s own willingness but also obligation to a wider community, for the betterment of the community for its members. That DIY, fluid approach to learning is absolutely at the heart of a networked system for learning. Do you read Harold Jarche – Work is learning and learning is the work? Highly recommended.